Friday, February 3, 2017

11 Paintings, scenes from the Bible, by The Old Masters, with footnotes # 39

Antonio Badile, VERONA 1518-1560
Oil on canvas
104 1/8  by 59 in.; 264.3 by 149.7 cm.
Private Collection

Saint George (circa 275/281 – 23 April 303 AD) was a soldier in the Roman army who later became venerated as a Christian martyr. His parents were Christians of Greek background; his father Gerontius was a Roman army official from Cappadocia and his mother Polychronia was from Lydda, Syria Palaestina. Saint George became an officer in the Roman army in the Guard of Diocletian, who ordered his death for failing to recant his Christian faith.

In the fully developed Western version of the Saint George Legend, a dragon, or crocodile, makes its nest at the spring that provides water for the city of "Silene" (perhaps modern Cyrene in Libya or the city of Lydda in Palistine, depending on the source). Consequently, the citizens have to dislodge the dragon from its nest for a time, to collect water. To do so, each day they offer the dragon at first a sheep, and if no sheep can be found, then a maiden is the best substitute for one. The victim is chosen by drawing lots. One day, this happens to be the princess. The monarch begs for her life to be spared, but to no avail. She is offered to the dragon, but then Saint George appears on his travels. He faces the dragon, protects himself with the sign of the Cross, slays the dragon, and rescues the princess. The citizens abandon their ancestral paganism and convert to Christianity.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, (1828–1882)
The Wedding of Saint George and Princess Sabra, c. 1857
Watercolor on paper
36.5 × 36.5 cm (14.4 × 14.4 in)
Tate Britain

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882) was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. Rossetti was later to be the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement. His work also influenced the European Symbolists and was a major precursor of the Aesthetic movement.

Rossetti's personal life was closely linked to his work, especially his relationships with his models and muses Elizabeth Siddal, Fanny Cornforth and Jane Morris. More

On 24 February 303, Diocletian issued an edict that every Christian soldier in the army should be arrested and every other soldier should offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods of the time. George objected, and approached the Emperor and ruler. Diocletian attempted to convert George, even offering gifts of land, money, and slaves, but George never accepted. Recognizing the futility of his efforts and insisting on upholding his edict, Diocletian ordered that George be executed for his refusal. Before the execution, George gave his wealth to the poor and prepared himself. Mor

Antonio Badile (c. 1518 – 1560) was an Italian painter from Verona. He is the grandson of the Veronese 15th century painter Giovanni Badile. He trained with his uncle Francesco Badile. He was the first master of Paolo Veronese, and later his father-in-law. Veronese later moved to train with Giovanni Francesco Caroto. Badile also trained Giovanni Battista Zelotti. Badile is described as continuing the "retardataire" tradition of Giovanni Francesco Caroto well past the 1540s. His masterpiece is the altarpiece for Santi Nazaro e Celso of a Madonna and Saints (1540); another notable work is his Resurrection of Lazarus for the chapel of Santa Croce in the church of San Bernardino. More Antonio Badile

The 'De Grey' Hours, c. 1390
National Library of Wales

A medieval Book of Hours probably written for the De Grey family of Ruthin c.1390

The book of hours is a Christian devotional book popular in the Middle Ages. It is the most common type of surviving medieval illuminated manuscript. Like every manuscript, each book of hours is unique in one way or another, but most contain a similar collection of texts, prayers and psalms, often with appropriate decorations, for Christian devotion. Illumination or decoration is minimal in many examples, often restricted to decorated capital letters at the start of psalms and other prayers, but books made for wealthy patrons may be extremely lavish, with full-page miniatures.

Tens of thousands of books of hours have survived to the present day, in libraries and private collections throughout the world.

The typical book of hours is an abbreviated form of the breviary which contained the Divine Office recited in monasteries. It was developed for lay people who wished to incorporate elements of monasticism into their devotional life. Reciting the hours typically centered upon the reading of a number of psalms and other prayers. More The book of hours

Bernat Martorell, (1390–1452)
Saint George and the Dragon, 1434/35
Tempera on panel
155.6 x 98.1 cm (61 1/4 x 38 5/8 in.)
Art Institute of Chicago

In the second quarter of the 15th century, Bernat Martorell was the leading painter of Barcelona. Saint George was the patron saint of Catalonia, the capital of Catalonia in northeastern Spain, and Martorell's vivid painting probably once formed the center of the altarpiece of the chapel of the Catalan government in its palace in Barcelona. The central image would have been flanked by smaller narrative panels, now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris; they illustrate the martyrdom of the saint in gruesome detail. More

Bernat Martorell (1390 died 1452 in Barcelona) was a Catalan painter. He is considered to be the most important artist of the International Gothic style in Catalonia. Little is known of his life prior to 1427. The style of Martorell is contrastingly different from the Catalunyan Gothic painters who preceded. Martorell was familiar with contemporary Flemish painting, however, the documented part of his biography does not explain this influence. On the other hand, stylistic parallels have been drawn between Martorell and contemporary Italian artists.

One of the earliest surviving works of Martorell, Saint George Killing the Dragon (above), depicting Bernat Martorell's patron saint, was created in the early 1430s and already demonstrates the complexity of composition, richness of colors and fine details which could only been executed by a fully trained artist. These details were not present in Catalan art before Martorell.

In 1437, Bernat Martorell got a commission to create an altarpiece for the church in Púbol. The altarpiece devoted to Saint Peter, is currently in Museu d'Art de Girona and is the only directly documented piece produced by the artist. More Bernat Martorell

Paolo Veronese, (1528–1588)
Martyrdom of Saint George, circa 1564
Oil on canvas
Height: 426 cm (167.7 in). Width: 305 cm (120.1 in).
San Giorgio in Braida, Verona

Paolo Caliari, known as Paolo Veronese (1528 – 19 April 1588) was an Italian Renaissance painter based in Venice, most famous for large history paintings of both religious and mythological subjects, such as The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi. With Titian, who was at least a generation older, and Tintoretto, ten years older, he was one of the "great trio that dominated Venetian painting of the cinquecento" or 16th-century late Renaissance. Veronese is known as a supreme colorist, and after an early period with Mannerist influence turned to a more naturalist style influenced by Titian.

His most famous works are elaborate narrative cycles, executed in a dramatic and colorful style, full of majestic architectural settings and glittering pageantry. His large paintings of biblical feasts, crowded with figures, painted for the refectories of monasteries in Venice and Verona are especially famous, and he was also the leading Venetian painter of ceilings. Most of these works remain in situ, or at least in Venice, and his representation in most museums is mainly composed of smaller works such as portraits that do not always show him at his best or most typical.

He has always been appreciated for "the chromatic brilliance of his palette, the splendor and sensibility of his brushwork, the aristocratic elegance of his figures, and the magnificence of his spectacle", but his work has been felt "not to permit expression of the profound, the human, or the sublime", and of the "great trio" he has often been the least appreciated by modern criticism. Nonetheless, "many of the greatest artists ... may be counted among his admirers, including Rubens, Watteau, Tiepolo, Delacroix and Renoir". More

Master of the Madonna del Ponterosso, possibly identifiable as Giovanni di Papino Calderini
Oil on panel, a tondo
Diameter: 35 5/8  in.; 90.5 cm.
Private Collection

John the Baptist (sometimes called John in the Wilderness) was the subject of at least eight paintings by the Italian Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610).

The story of John the Baptist is told in the Gospels. John was the cousin of Jesus, and his calling was to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. He lived in the wilderness of Judea between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, "his raiment of camel's hair, and a leather girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey." He baptised Jesus in the Jordan, and was eventually killed by Herod Antipas when he called upon the king to reform his evil ways. More

Saint Anthony the Abbot, also known as Saint Anthony the Great. Although he is often overshadowed by similarly named Saint Anthony of Padua, this Egyptian saint is particularly important throughout southern Italy, and is the patron saint of butchers, domestic animals, basketmakers,and gravediggers; he also protects against skin diseases, especially shingles known as "Fuoco di Sant'Antonio" (Fire of Saint Anthony) in Italy. Saint Anthony the Abbot was a hermit who renounced his worldly possessions to follow Jesus and performed miracles throughout his life. He is considered the first to live a truly monastic lifestyle and was repeatedly tempted by the devil, persevering through prayer. This aspect of the saint's life is often portrayed in images of him with the devil at his feet. - See more Saint Anthony the Abbot

Follower of Jan van Scorel
oil on oak panel
137 x 118.1 cm.; 54 x 46 1/2  in.
Private Collection

A copy after the central panel of the triptych by Jan van Scorel and Studio, of circa 1535, in the Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht, Netherlands.

Jan van Scorel (1495 – 6 December 1562) was a Dutch painter, who played a leading role in introducing aspects of Italian Renaissance painting into Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting. Van Scorel was one of the early painters of the Romanist style who had spent a number of years in Italy, where he thoroughly absorbed the Italian style of painting. His trip to Italy coincided with the brief reign of the only Dutch pope in history, Adrian VI in 1522-23. The pope made him a court painter and superintendent of his collection of antiquities. His stay in Italy lasted from 1518 to 1524. He also visited Nuremberg, Venice and Jerusalem. Venetian art had an important impact on the development of his style.

He differed from most Romanists in that he was a native of the northern Netherlands and not of Flanders and that he remained most of his life in the northern Netherlands. He settled permanently in Utrecht in 1530 and established a large workshop on the Italian model. The workshop mainly produced altarpieces, many of which were destroyed in the Reformation iconoclasm in the years just after his death. He also held clerical appointments. This did not stop him from having a long-time relationship with a mistress who may have modelled for some of his female figure. More Jan van Scorel

Oil on canvas
60 1/4  by 77 1/8  in.; 153 by 196 cm.
Private Collection

This large canvas is Preti's only known treatment of the subject, which is taken from the Old Testament book of Daniel 2:1-49. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar called upon magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers to decipher his troubled dreams, and demanded that they relate the content of the dream before attempting an interpretation, so as to prove their clairvoyant abilities. When they failed to deliver on this request, the king sentenced them and the other wise men of Babylon to death. Daniel, after appealing to his God for aid, successfully relayed the topic of the dream and subsequently interpreted it. Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed of a magnificent statue (shown here in mid-tones to make explicit its ephemerality), its head “made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay.” In the dream a rock struck the statue and broke it into innumerable pieces, and the rock itself grew into a mountain that filled the earth. More Daniel

Mattia Preti (24 February 1613 – 3 January 1699) was an Italian Baroque artist who worked in Italy and Malta. He was also a member of the Order of Saint John. Born in the small town of Taverna in Calabria, Preti was called Il Cavalier Calabrese (the Calabrian Knight) after he was accepted into the Order of St. John (Knights of Malta) in 1660. His early apprenticeship is said to have been with the "Caravaggist" Giovanni Battista Caracciolo, which may account for his lifelong interest in the style of Caravaggio.

Before 1630, Preti joined his brother Gregorio in Rome, where he became familiar with the techniques of Caravaggio and his school as well as with the work of Guercino, Rubens, Guido Reni, and Giovanni Lanfranco. In Rome, he painted fresco cycles in the churches of Sant'Andrea della Valle and San Carlo ai Catinari. Between 1644 and 1646, he may have spent time in Venice, but remained based in Rome until 1653, returning later in 1660-61. He painted frescoes, and participated in the fresco decoration of the Palazzo Pamphilj in Valmontone.

Mattia Preti (1613–1699)
Doubting Thomas, c. 656/1660
Oil on canvas
187 x 145.5 cm 
Kunsthistorisches Museum,  Vienna, Austria

During most of 1653-1660, he worked in Naples, where he was influenced by another major painter of his era, Luca Giordano. One of Preti's masterpieces were a series of large frescoes, ex-votos of the plague, depicting the Virgin or saints delivering people from the plague. The bozzetto of the Virgin with the baby Jesus looming over the dying. 

Having been made a Knight of Grace in the Order of St John, he visited the order’s headquarters in Malta in 1659 and spent most of the remainder of his life there. Preti was fortunate to enjoy a long career and have a considerable artistic output. His paintings, representative of the exuberant late Baroque style, are held by many great museums, including important collections in Naples, Valletta, and in his hometown of Taverna. More Mattia Preti 

A doubting Thomas is a skeptic who refuses to believe without direct personal experience—a reference to the Apostle Thomas, who refused to believe that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to the ten other apostles, until he could see and feel the wounds received by Jesus on the cross.

In art, the episode (formally called the Incredulity of Thomas) has been frequently depicted since at least the 5th century, with its depiction reflecting a range of theological interpretations. More doubting Thomas

Jacopo Amigoni, NAPLES 1682 - 1752 MADRID
Oil on canvas
49 1/2  by 61 1/2  in.; 125.7 by 156.2 cm.
Private Collection

The present canvas corresponds with paintings executed by Amigoni in the period following his return to Venice from Great Britain in 1739.

Amigoni takes his subject from Torquato Tasso’s Gerusalemme Liberata, an epic poem completed in 1575 Tasso’s poem recounts tales from the first crusade, culminating in Godfrey de Bouillon's liberation of Jerusalem in 1099.  The episode selected by the artist is an account from Book II, in which a female mercenary, Clorinda, dramatically rescues two Christian lovers from burning at the stake. In the painting we see Sophronia, a Christian accused of desecrating an Islamic image, sentenced to death by the Saracens and lashed to the stake with her lover, Olindo, who has chosen to die by her side. A Saracen, poised to ignite the pyre, is interrupted by the arrival of the Persian Clorinda, in full armour, who rides in on a white stallion, to the evident surprise of the Saracen king at left. More Clorinda

Jacopo Amigoni (1682–1752), also named Giacomo Amiconi, was an Italian painter of the late-Baroque or Rococo period, who began his career in Venice, but traveled and was prolific throughout Europe.

He was born in Naples or Venice. Amigoni initially painted both mythological and religious scenes; but as the panoply of his patrons expanded northward, he began producing many parlour works depicting gods in sensuous languor or games.

In 1747 he left Italy and established himself in Madrid. There he became court painter to Ferdinand VI of Spain and director of the Royal Academy of Saint Fernando. He died in Madrid. More Jacopo Amigoni

Alexander Altmann (Russian, 1885-1950)
Three Orthodox Priests
Oil on canvas
43 x 94.5 cm (17 x 37 1/4 in.)
Private Collection

Alexander Altmann, born in Sobolevka ( Ukraine ) in 1885 and died in Nemours (France) in 1934 , is a painter of Ukraine of the School of Paris , known for his painting "The flood of Paris."

Alexandre Altmann studied at the Fine Arts of Odessa . He left Odessa in 1905 and, on foot, to Paris where he finds a studio in La Ruche .

He became acquainted with Emile Schuffeneckers . In 1910 Altmann knows notoriety after the exhibition of his painting "The flood of Paris." More Alexander Altmann

Acknowledgement: Sotheby's

Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others

Monday, January 30, 2017

13 Paintings, scenes from the Bible, by The Old Masters, with footnotes # 37

Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, called Botticelli, and Studio, FLORENCE 1445 - 1510
oil on panel, a tondo
diameter: 34 1/4  in.; 87 cm.

This tondo by Sandro Botticelli likely dates to the second half of the 1480s, when the artist had returned to Florence from Rome.  The design for the kneeling Virgin relates to Botticelli’s Madonna Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, which also dates to circa 1485 (Below).  The heavy, hooded mantle pools in similar folds on the ground and she clasps her hands in the same, quintessentially Botticellian gesture, crooking the little finger of each hand.  Unlike the Edinburgh Virgin, however, in the present painting the figure’s mouth is slightly open and there is a delicate shadow between her lips, a characteristic detail that is typical of the artist in this period.  He paid careful attention to light, depicting the highlights on the ox’s muzzle and horn with great sensitivity.  The veils that cover the Virgin’s head are rendered with similarly meticulous care.  The more the layers overlap, the more opaque they become, appearing whiter, an effect accomplished by building up fine layers of pigment in diagonal lines, mimicking the weave of the linen. More THE MADONNA AND CHILD WITH SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, called Botticelli, and Studio, FLORENCE 1445 - 1510
The Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child, c. 1485
Tempera and gold on canvas
122.00 x 80.30 cm (framed: 188.00 x 107.30 x 21.00 cm)
Scottish National Gallery

Botticelli's composition, inspired by the work of Filippo Lippi (Second Down), is unusual in two respects: canvas paintings were still uncommon at this time and the Christ Child was rarely shown asleep. This variation could be interpreted as a reminder of Christ's death. His future suffering for Mankind may also be symbolised by the detailed plants and fruits. The red strawberries, for example, may refer to Christ's blood. They also complement the beautiful rose bower which forms an 'enclosed garden', a symbol of the Virgin derived from the Old Testament Song of Solomon. The painting was probably designed for a domestic setting. More The Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child

Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, called Botticelli, and Studio, FLORENCE 1445 - 1510
The Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist
Private collection, formerly with Moretti Gallery, Florence

The above composition overall exists in a number of replicas and copies, each with slight variations, including one formerly with Moretti Gallery, Florence (above).  At some point between 1854 and 1921, the Edinburgh painting (above) was cut down on four sides, transforming it from its original tondo into a rectangular format.  In both the Edinburgh and London paintings the position of the livestock differs from the present painting; the ass stands to the left of the ox and they appear to be deeper into the background.  The pose of the Child is also different. Closest to the top panel in terms of composition is the ex-Moretti tondo.  Though depicted without the delicate, translucent veil, the Child is posed in the same manner, with feet together and touching his left hand to his face.  Even in the ex-Moretti tondo, however, there are variations in the background landscape and the livestock appear curiously small in comparison to the foreground figures. More The Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child

Filippo Lippi (1406–1469)
The Adoration in the Forest, c. 1459
Oil on poplar wood
Height: 129.5 cm (51 in). Width: 118.5 cm (46.7 in).
Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

Adoration in the Forest is a painting completed before 1459 by the Carmelite friar, Filippo Lippi, of the Virgin Mary and the newly born Christ Child lying on the ground, in the unusual setting of a steep, dark, wooded wilderness. There are no shepherds, kings, ox, ass – there is no Joseph. "Lippi removes a whole range of narrative details which would have been present in a standard Nativity - he creates a whole set of mysteries, and then preserves them." It was painted for one of the wealthiest men in Renaissance Florence, the banker Cosimo de Medici. In later times it had a turbulent history. Hitler ordered it to be hidden in WW2 and it became part of the story of a mutiny in the U.S. Army - 'the only known case in the whole Second World War of American officers refusing an order.' It is now once again in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin. More  Adoration in the Forest 

Fra Filippo Lippi and workshop, 1406; died 1469
Saint Mamas in Prison thrown to the Lions, c. 1455-60
Predella Panel
GroupThe Pistoia Santa Trinità Altarpiece
Egg tempera, tempera grassa and oil on wood
27 x 39.5 cm
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London

Saint Mammes of Caesarea is a semi-legendary child-martyr of the 3rd century. He was martyred at Caesarea. His parents, Theodotus and Rufina, were also martyred.

Born in prison to parents who had been jailed because they were Christian, Mammes became an orphan when his parents were executed. After his parents' death, Mammes was raised by a rich widow named Ammia, who died when Mammes was 15 years old.

According to legend, Mammes was tortured for his faith by the governor of Caesarea and was then sent before the Roman Emperor Aurelian, who tortured him again. The Mammes legend states that an angel then liberated him and ordered him to hide himself on a mountain near Caesarea.

Jean Cousin the Elder
 St Mammes and Duke Alexander
Date 1541
Height: 440 cm (173.2 in). Width: 450 cm (177.2 in).
Louvre Museum

Jean Cousin (1500 – before 1593) see below

Mammes was later thrown to the lions, but managed to make the beasts docile. He preached to animals in the fields, and a lion remained with him as companion. Accompanied by the lion, he visited Duke Alexander, who condemned him to death. He was struck in the stomach with a trident. Bleeding, Mammes dragged himself to a spot near a theater before his soul was carried into heaven by angels. More Saint Mammes

Francesco Pesellino and Fra Filippo Lippi and Workshop
Saints Mamas and James
The Pistoia Santa Trinità Altarpiece, c. 1455-60
Egg tempera, tempera grassa and oil on wood
142 x 64.5 cm
Royal Collection

Fra' Filippo Lippi, O.Carm. (c. 1406 – 8 October 1469), also called Lippo Lippi, was an Italian painter of the Quattrocento (15th century). He was brought up as an unwanted child in the Carmelite friary of the Carmine, where he took his vows in 1421. Unlike the Dominican Fra Angelico, however, Lippi was a reluctant friar and had a scandalous love affair with a nun. The couple was released from their vows and allowed to marry, but Lippi still signed himself "Frater Philippus". His biography is one of the most colourful in Vasari's Lives and has given rise to the picture of a wordly Renaissance artist, rebelling against the discipline of the Church. 

From about 1440, however, his style changed direction, becoming more linear and preoccupied with decorative motifs. Lippi is associated with the form of tondi, a format he was among the first to use. Another formal innovation with which Lippi is closely associated is the "sacra conversazione" - his Barbadori Altarpiece is sometimes claimed as the earliest example of the type.

Filippo Lippi was not dedicated to the study of nature firsthand; instead, he depended largely upon painted and sculptured prototypes, and his figures are often inorganic and unanatomical,

Lippi was highly regarded in his day and his influence is seen in the work of numerous artists, most notably Botticelli, who was probably his pupil. Four centuries later he was one of the major sources for the second wave of Pre-Raphaelitism. More Fra' Filippo Lippi, O.Carm

Fra Filippo Lippi and workshop, 1406; died 1469
Saint Jerome and the Lion, c. 1455-60
Predella Panel
The Pistoia Santa Trinità Altarpiece
tEgg tempera, tempera grassa and oil on wood
26.5 x 40 cm
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London

Jerome of Stridonium, who was born around 347AD, and is best known for the legend in which he drew a thorn from a lion’s paw, and in Michael Pacher’s depiction of the saint (above), we see him draped in the red robes of a cardinal, stroking the lion.  was a priest, confessor, theologian and historian. He was the son of Eusebius, born at Stridon, a village near Emona on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia, then part of northeastern Italy. He is best known for his translation of most of the Bible into Latin (the translation that became known as the Vulgate), and his commentaries on the Gospels. His list of writings is extensive.

The protégé of Pope Damasus I, who died in December of 384, Jerome was known for his teachings on Christian moral life, especially to those living in cosmopolitan centers such as Rome. In many cases, he focused his attention to the lives of women and identified how a woman devoted to Jesus should live her life. This focus stemmed from his close patron relationships with several prominent female ascetics who were members of affluent senatorial families.

He is recognised as a Saint and Doctor of the Church by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Anglican Communion. More Jerome of Stridonium

Jean Cousin the Elder
Eva Prima Pandora, circa 1550
Oil on panel
97.5 × 150 cm (38.4 × 59.1 in)
Louvre Museum

Eve, guilty of original sin as related in the Book of Genesis, is here equated with Pandora who, in Greek mythology, spread all the evils that have afflicted mankind by curiously opening the box entrusted to her by the gods. More

Jean Cousin (1500 – before 1593) was a French painter, sculptor, etcher, engraver, and geometrician. He is known as "Jean Cousin the Elder" to distinguish him from his son Jean Cousin the Younger, also an artist.

Cousin was born at Soucy, near Sens, and began his career in his native town with the study of glass-painting under Jean Hympe and Grassot. At the same time, he studied mathematics and published a successful book on the subject. He also wrote on geometry in his student days. In 1530 Cousin finished the windows for Sens Cathedral, the subject chosen being the "Legend of St. Eutropius". He also painted the windows of many of the noble châteaux in and around the city.

In Paris Cousin continued his career as a glass-painter, and created his best-known work, the windows of the Sainte-Chapelle in Vincennes. He subsequently devoted himself to painting in oil, and has been claimed as the first Frenchman to use that new medium. 

He was also an illustrator of books, making many designs for woodcuts and often executed them himself. The "Bible", published in 1596 by Le Clerc, and the Metamorphoses and Epistles of Ovid (1566 and 1571 respectively) contain his most noted work as an illustrator. He also created sculptures. In addition to his early writings on mathematics, he published, in 1560, a treatise on perspective, and, in 1571, a work on portrait-painting. During his life Cousin enjoyed the favour of and worked for four kings of France: Henry II, Francis II, Charles IX, and Henry III.

He died at Sens, but the date of his death is uncertain. More Jean Cousin 

Attributed to François Chauveau (1613-1676) 
John the Baptist Visiting the Infant Christ
Watercolor and gouache on vellum stretched onto panel
Diameter 12 1/2 in. (32.0 cm)
Private Collection

Scenes showing the infants Jesus and John together first became popular in fifteenth-century Tuscany, part of a growing concern for childhood. The subject was given new life in the century to follow thanks to a now lost work by Leonardo, which showed the two children embracing.   More 

François Chauveau (10 May 1613, Paris – 3 February 1676, Paris) was a French painter and engraver. The second son of the impoverished noble Lubin Chauveau and of Marguerite de Fleurs, he studied in the studio of Laurent de La Hyre and specialised in etching. He married Marguerite Roger on 8 February 1652 and Louis XIV gave him a pension and the title of Graveur du Roi ainsi in 1662. Made a counsellor to the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture on 14 April 1663, he died in 1676.

Notable for his great culture and imagination, he was one of the four French engravers cited by Charles Perrault in his "Hommes illustres". Chauveau left nearly 1,600 works, including illustrations for works by Mademoiselle de Scudéry, Scarron, Molière, Racine and Boileau. La Fontaine summoned him to illustrate the first six books of his fables. He had many students, including Nicolas Guérard, Jean-Baptiste Broebes and Edward Davies. His children included René, Évrard and Louis Chauveau. More François Chauveau

Netherlandish School, 16th Century
oil on oak panel
33.7 x 53.5 cm.; 13 1/4  x 21 1/8  in.
Private Collection

The landscape depicts Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, as recounted in all the Gospels. As well as a vivid testament to the energetic fusion of styles and influences that contributed to the development of World Landscape painting in Antwerp in the first half of the sixteenth century, it also contains an unusually accurate early topographic depiction of the city of Jerusalem. 

Netherlandish School, 16th Century

The painting is likely by at least two different artists, the distant landscape closely resembling those of Herri Met de Bles, to whom the panel has long been attributed, and the figure group deriving from an altarpiece by Jan van Scorel.

Netherlandish School, 16th Century

The traditional attribution to the Antwerp painter Herri Met de Bles (c. 1510– after 1550) was no doubt on account of the presence of the owl in the trees on the left hand side of the painting, a device to be found on many of his extant works, and which gave him in Italy the nickname ‘Il Civetta’. More

Roelandt Savery, KORTRIJK 1576 - 1639 UTRECHT
Oil on beechwood panel
17.5 x 26.7 cm.; 7 x 10 1/2  in
Private Collection

The Temptation of Saint Anthony is an often-repeated subject in history of art and literature, concerning the supernatural temptation reportedly faced by Saint Anthony the Great during his sojourn in the Egyptian desert. Anthony's temptation is first discussed by Athanasius of Alexandria, Anthony's contemporary, and from then became a popular theme in Western culture. More

Roelandt Savery, KORTRIJK 1576 - 1639 UTRECHT

Roelandt Savery, KORTRIJK 1576 - 1639 UTRECHT

Roelandt Savery, KORTRIJK 1576 - 1639 UTRECHT

The focus of the present panel is firmly upon the saint himself and the assorted diablerie that assail him. He is confronted by a winged demon dressed as a pilgrim, sitting astride a lobster with the head of a dodo, while a trumpet playing demon perches on his shoulder and a grylle with round table-top hat squats beside him. A devil, disguised as a woman in contemporary dress (symbolic of the temptation of lust) lurks in the darkened doorway behind a sleeping pig, the companion and attribute of Saint Anthony. In the foreground cabalistic texts and symbols, including a fountain of blood, blasphemously mock the rosary and crucifix of the saint. More

This work is completely unrecorded, and appears to be one of only two treatments of this subject by Savery. The other, a signed and dated later work of 1617, is today in the collection of the Getty Museum, Los Angeles (Below)

Saint Anthony or Antony (251–356) was a Christian monk from Egypt, revered since his death as a saint. He is distinguished from other saints named Anthony by various epithets: Anthony the Great, Anthony of Egypt, Anthony the Abbot, Anthony of the Desert, Anthony the Anchorite, and Anthony of Thebes. For his importance among the Desert Fathers and to all later Christian monasticism, he is also known as the Father of All Monks. His feast day is celebrated on January 17 among the Orthodox and Catholic churches and on Tobi 22 in the Egyptian calendar used by the Coptic Church.

The biography of Anthony's life by Athanasius of Alexandria helped to spread the concept of Christian monasticism, particularly in Western Europe via its Latin translations. He is often erroneously considered the first Christian monk, but as his biography and other sources make clear, there were many ascetics before him. Anthony was, however, the first to go into the wilderness, a geographical move that seems to have contributed to his renown. Accounts of Anthony enduring supernatural temptation during his sojourn in the Eastern Desert of Egypt inspired the often-repeated subject of the temptation of St. Anthony in Western art and literature. More Saint Anthony

Roelant Savery (1576–1639)
Landscape with the Temptation of Saint Anthony, c. 1617
Oil on panel
Getty Center

The Getty painting shows the saint praying in the bottom left corner in a rustic hut dwarfed by a magnificent alpine panoramic landscape. The insignificance of the saint in the Getty panel clearly indicate the main focus of that painting is the wider landscape.

Roelant Savery (1576–1639)
Landscape with the Temptation of Saint Anthony, c. 1617

Roelant Savery (1576 - buried 25 February 1639), was a Flanders-born Dutch Golden Age painter. Like so many other artists, he belonged to an Anabaptist family that fled north from the Spanish-occupied Southern Netherlands when Roelant was about 4 years old and settled in Haarlem around 1585. He was taught painting by his older brother Jacob Savery (c. 1565 – 1603) and Hans Bol.

After his schooling, Savery traveled to Prague around 1604, where he became court painter of the Emperors Rudolf II (1552–1612) and Mathias (1557–1619), who had made their court a center of mannerist art. Between 1606-1608 he traveled to Tyrol to study plants. Gillis d'Hondecoeter became his pupil.

In 1621 Savery bought a large house on the Boterstraat in Utrecht. The house had a large garden with flowers and plants, where a number of fellow painters, like Adam Willaerts were frequent visitors. 

In the 1620s he was one of the most successful painters in Utrecht, but later his life got troubled, perhaps because of heavy drinking. Though he would have pupils until the late 1630s, amongst which Allaert van Everdingen and Roelant Roghman, he went bankrupt in 1638 and died in Utrecht half a year later. More Roelant Savery

Italian School, 17th Century
Nativity Scene
Oil on canvas
22 1/2 x 17 in. (57.2 x 43.0 cm)
Private Collection

Francisco de Zurbarán, FUENTE DE CANTOS, BADAJOZ 1598 - 1664 MADRID
oil on canvas
47 5/8  by 40 1/2  in.; 121 by 102.7 cm.
Private property

The Virgin and Saint Catherine are both portrayed as classically beautiful young women.  According to legend, Catherine was of noble birth and Zurbarán has depicted her richly robed and wearing a brocaded cape.  At lower left is her attribute, the broken spiked wheel. Before Saint Catherine's martyrdom, the Emperor Maxentius ordered her to be tortured with an instrument made up of four wheels studded with iron spikes.  However, a thunderbolt from heaven destroyed it before she was harmed.  The account of her “mystic marriage” is the most often depicted episode from her life. Following her conversion to Christianity she had a vision of the Virgin holding the Christ Child who reached out and placed a ring on her finger, thereby symbolizing her spiritual betrothal to God. More on this painting

Francisco de Zurbarán (baptized November 7, 1598 – August 27, 1664) was a Spanish painter. He is known primarily for his religious paintings depicting monks, nuns, and martyrs, and for his still-lifes. Zurbarán gained the nickname Spanish Caravaggio, owing to the forceful, realistic use of chiaroscuro in which he excelled. More Francisco de Zurbarán

Italian School, 17th Century
Saint Barbara Holding a Chalice and Pointing to Heaven
Charcoal and white chalk on paper
9 x 7 in. (23.1 x 18.0 cm)
Private Collection

Saint Barbara, known in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the Great Martyr Barbara, was an early Christian Greek saint and martyr. Accounts place her in the 3rd century in the Greek city Nicomedia, present-day Turkey or in Heliopolis of Phoenicia, present-day Baalbek, Lebanon. There is no reference to her in the authentic early Christian writings nor in the original recension of Saint Jerome's martyrology. Her name can be traced to the 7th century, and veneration of her was common, especially in the East, from the 9th century

Barbara, the daughter of a rich pagan named Dioscorus, was carefully guarded by her father who kept her locked up in a tower in order to preserve her from the outside world. Having secretly become a Christian, she rejected an offer of marriage that she received through him.

When her father returned a journey, she acknowledged herself to be a Christian; upon this he drew his sword to kill her, but her prayers created an opening in the tower wall and she was miraculously transported to a mountain gorge, where two shepherds watched their flocks. Dioscorus, left in pursuit of his daughter

Dragged before the prefect of the province, Martinianus, who had her cruelly tortured, Barbara held true to her faith. During the night, the dark prison was bathed in light and new miracles occurred. Every morning her wounds were healed. Torches that were to be used to burn her went out as soon as they came near her. Finally she was condemned to death by beheading. Her father himself carried out the death-sentence. However, as punishment for this, he was struck by lightning on the way home and his body was consumed by flame. More Saint Barbara

Acknowledgement: SKINNER

Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others